armorscale have followed their previous 122m D-25T barrel release (set #B35-046) which was for the older Dragon IS-2 kits with this 'new' set designed specifically for the recent Tamiya JS-2 Model 1944 ChKZ (kit #35289).
The set consists of the aluminium barrel and four resin pieces for the turret front armour, the gun mantlet and muzzle brake halves with the standard of resin casting good overall but there are a couple of uncharacteristic air bubble holes in the gun mantlet.
Cleanup is straightforward but you need to take care removing the casting block from the top of the turret front section to ensure it remains perfectly straight as this forms the join with the turret roof.
The barrel and muzzle brake are the same as with the previous set while the turret front and mantlet are resin reproductions of the Tamiya kit parts. Thankfully they also include detail enhancements with the turret front having enhanced cast texturing, small casting numbers added to the right side and additional weld seams around the lifting hooks and trunnion caps on each side. The mantlet includes flame cut texturing on both ends for better appearance which all makes for viable replacements for the plastic kit parts.
The metal barrel has the correct taper along the length and also features threads for the muzzle brake and rifling as mentioned with the length matching the 1:35 plans in IS Vol.1/II Wydawnictwo Militaria No.273/294 but is 1.5mm shorter than the 1:35 plans in Ground Power Magazine #165. Additional data in the Russian magazines listed below suggest the 1:35 plans in the Ground Power Magazine are correct while those in the Militaria IS books not so meaning the metal barrel is slightly too short.
The muzzle brake is cleanly cast with just the casting blocks to be removed and includes the inner muzzle brake ring as well as nice cast texture and weld seams on the outside of the muzzle brake.
Unfortunately the muzzle brake is undersized in both length and width as well as having the prominent join seam to be removed and this will also damage the cast texturing which will have to be replaced using Mr.Surfacer or similar after the seam is eliminated.
Another issue is the barrel tip is threaded but there is no threading on the inside of the muzzle brake halves and to fit the muzzle brake to the barrel you have to file the treads down to reduce the diameter of the barrel sufficiently to fit on the muzzle brake. You also have to ensure you don’t force the muzzle brake onto the barrel or it will split along the join and you will be back to square one.
Moving to the replacement mantlet, as mentioned this is reproduction of the kit part so size and fit are not an issue. armorscale have added the flame cut texture to the edges of the mantlet, something noticeably missing from the Tamiya part but you will need to drill out the MG hole for a better appearance as the back of the mantlet has been filled in with resin. There were a couple of uncharacteristic air holes in the mantlet in my set, most notably on one of the neck securing lugs and these will need a little care to fill.
Similarly the large turret front casting is also based on the kit part with the same inner locating ridges for the kit gun mountings as well as the pin marks but again armorscale has added a fair bit of detail for a better appearance. This again means there are no problems with the fit to the kit being the same size, the only issue being the top edge which depends on the care taken removing the casting block as mentioned above.
The cast texturing has been roughened up and small casting numbers added to the right side as seen on the actual mantlet. The kit lifting eyes are pre-attached with nice weld beads added around the mounting plates, there are also additional welds around the two small circular trunnion caps on with side for an improvement in detail definition over the plastic kit parts.
Images of the barrel threading requiring filing down to fit the muzzle brake.
The metal barrel is a very snug fit inside the mantlet collar with both the turret front section and mantlet fitting as per the Tamiya kit instructions without any problems.
This set has the same issues with the barrel and muzzle brake as the previous set and are really not up to scratch compared to the far better proprtioned and detailed ABER set #35 L-69.
The new turret front section and gun mantlet have good detail enhancements over the Tamiya kit parts they are based on and for that reason the set makes a nice update set for those parts but not really for the barrel/muzzle brake if accuracy is of concern.
Recommended for the turret and mantlet parts.
See comparison review of available 122mm D-25T Barrel sets
|Heavy Tank IS 2/2M
Model Detail Photo Monograph No.6
|Heavy Tank IS-2
Ground Power Magazine
#165 - 2/2008
GALILEO Publishing Co.,Ltd.
|IS-2 Heavy Tank 1944-1973
Osprey New Vanguard 7
by Steve Zaloga, Peter Sarson
ISBN 1 8552 3986 6
Tank Power Vol.XLVII
Wydawnictwo Militaria No.273
Tank Power Vol.LXIV
Wydawnictwo Militaria No.294
Tank Power Vol.LXXII
Wydawnictwo Militaria No.306